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Severe allergic reactions to COVID-19 vaccine appear higher in Japan than US, UK: minister

Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare Norihisa Tamura (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare Norihisa Tamura told a news conference following a March 9 Cabinet meeting that the number of severe allergic reactions that have occurred following injection of novel coronavirus vaccines "appear to be higher (in Japan) than in the U.S. and the U.K."

    According to the health ministry, medical workers had received some 71,000 injections of novel coronavirus vaccines by March 8, and eight cases of anaphylaxis, or severe allergic responses, were reported. On March 9, there were another nine cases reported. All those who presented with anaphylactic symptoms have improved, but according to regulatory authorities in each country, the prevalence of anaphylaxis in the U.S. has been five cases in every million vaccinations, and in the U.K., one to two cases in every 100,000 vaccinations.

    Tamura told reporters, "We must review the information, including whether the degree of the symptoms was the same as in the cases that were reported in the U.S. and Europe." A working group of the health ministry's Pharmaceutical Affairs and Food Sanitation Council is set to assess the diagnostic standards and the margin of safety in the U.S. and Europe on March 12.

    (Japanese original by Satoko Nakagawa, Lifestyle and Medical News Department)

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